I have decided to start letting you guys see all of me. So that means I will start sharing stories with you on Saturdays (might not be every Saturday. so kindly subscribe so you will know what is going on, on this blog). I will also be showing you my poor attempts at writing poems and so on. Basically, I am willing to bring more to you this year, from myself and others. I really hope you will join my team and share things on this blog as well. For now, enjoy reading this story I wrote sometime ago.
Ike is exhausted from walking under the scorching sun. The water she has been drinking has not been helping to cool her body. She is sweating profusely and she wishes Dami will walk faster. Ike turns her back to look at her and hisses out loud when she sees her chatting on her phone and smiling. ‘You will let the sun finish me because you are chatting with Bae?’, she says and snatches the phone from Dami’s hand. Dami looks at her and smiles, ‘just say you want my attention. You have it now, what’s up?’. ‘What’s up is I want you to walk faster, so we can get to where you parked your car and leave this sun that is fast shedding my skin colour’, Ike says and Dami laughs, walking faster and making her ask her to reduce her pace, for she is too tired to catch up with her.
They get to Dami’s house and Ike thanks God for the person that invented air conditioners. She runs to the fridge to get herself a drink and sees the carrot cake lying perfectly well in the fridge, she brings it out and as she is about to take a knife to cut a piece for yourself, Dami’s voice interrupts her. ‘Don’t touch that cake Ike. I am saving it for Collins. Carrot cake is his favourite and he likes this particular one because it’s from his favourite cake shop’. Ike looks at her and looks at the cake, she pauses for a minute and decides to go ahead to have a piece for herself. Dami punches her shoulder lightly as she puts the cake in her mouth, ‘So you will starve your best friend because of boyfriend? Nawa o.’ Dami giggles and she wonders if she has gone nuts. ‘What is wrong with this one?’ she looks round the room directing her question to the spacious kitchen. Dami brings out her ring finger and Ike opens her eyes wide as she sees the beautiful diamond ring fitted on her perfectly manicured finger. Ike hugs Dami and ask when it happened. She tells her last night and she didn’t call her when it happened because she wanted to surprise her. Ike keeps hugging her as she recounts the story of how he proposed.
They both go to the sitting room to sit and Ike cannot stop smiling. She is truly happy for her friend and is more than happy she got Collins, her older brother whom she introduced to Dami three years ago. ‘Just get ready to be cooking a lot. Collins eats like an animal’, Ike says and they both laugh. ‘Oh darling, I feel a bit sad for you. Now, your freedom will be mightily affected. You know all men are selfish’, Ike says having on a serious facial expression.
‘Ha-ha! I see you will not let go of this firm belief in the selfishness of men. Ike, don’t be deceived, all humans, even little children are selfish’, Dami says. ‘At least, children can be far more understanding than men’, Ike replies. Ike does not wish to get married; she only wishes to have children because she cannot imagine slaving away for a man. To support her argument about men being selfish, she tells Dami of how her mum still had to cook for her dad even when she was sick. Her dad would say sorry and get medication for her, but would still expect his food. Although he could cook, he did not think once of helping her by making his own meal. He would sit in the kitchen and distract her and when his food was not ready, he would talk about how his food was being delayed, though he was the one that distracted her. Collins never came down to the kitchen to help her and her mum, he believed his place was not in the kitchen and he would be in the sitting room discussing politics with your dad and expecting his food to be brought to him. It used to annoy her so much that he hardly cooked and she used to tell her mum she wasn’t doing him and his future wife a favour. Ike thanked God Chimamanda agrees with her in her talk, ‘We Should All be Femimists’. Dami smiles.
‘Now, I see where you are coming from Ike. You have also joined the, ever-increasing and more confusing, feminist movement’, she says with a raised eye brow. ‘I wouldn’t call myself a modern day feminist’, Ike replies. Dami chuckles, ‘Really? So what kind of feminist would you call yourself?’, she asks sarcastically. ‘I don’t really know. I share the traditional views of equal rights for women and better treatment and respect for women. I am very glad that feminism, both the traditional and modern one have helped in ensuring greater recognition of women and have helped women see that their existence goes beyond merely being a wife and mother, but also to them, being persons that are just as capable as men, but I am afraid the term ‘feminist’ has been greatly abused in the modern world. A lot of women have used feminism to excuse a lot of nonsense. I mean people go about naked now all in the name of women liberation and being able to do whatever with their bodies. Respect for men is also increasingly being thrown out the window. Call me traditional, but I believe the man is still the leader in the home. However, this in no sense gives him the right not to treat the woman as an equal and not to help in the kitchen, but most African men are too selfish and that is why I have refused to get married for now’. Dami laughs and calls her a confused feminist, ‘I am all for equal rights for women, but I think it’s a battle women are losing. Whether or not we admit it, the world has entrenched traditional views even though we are advancing as humans. We have it worse in Africa, women can have rights, but men will still remain the dominant gender. You would be blind not to notice the gender mostly at the top of the chain of the world sectors’, Dami says and Ike nods her head.
Ike stands up to get water from the dispenser. ‘My over-educated, non-conformist friend, how long do you think you can keep lying to your mother about an invisible boyfriend for?’, Dami asks. Ike shrugs her shoulders, ‘I don’t know. You are going to make it worse to keep lying, I don’t know who sent you to accept Collin’s proposal. … I will have a boyfriend soon, but for now, Mia and I are just fine’. Dami laughs, ‘you will soon make your mother regret giving your dad the go-ahead to send you abroad. You become more ‘Oyinbo’ as years go by. What is this western talk about you being fine with a dog?’, she says mockingly and Ike reminds her that Mia is not just a dog, she is a potential best friend that can replace her. Dami holds Ike’s ear and warns her never to replace her with anyone. Ike tells her okay and they both start planning her wedding.